Poor sales force cancellation of Central Music Festival
Poor ticket sales and a lack of volunteers has forced the cancellation of the Central Music Festival.
Set to take place this Friday to Sunday, the seventh annual music festival was to have featured Bill Bourne, Amos Garrett, Captain Tractor and Randi Boulton among 27 acts.
In a letter posted to the festival’s website on Monday, Mike Bradford, Central Music Festival Society president, said he cannot in good conscience move forward with this year’s festival.
Reached around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Bradford declined to answer any questions until Tuesday afternoon. Bradford said it has been a “difficult 24 hours” and needed some time.
Boulton said she was “completely shocked” when she heard the show would not go on, especially since other events in the arts are doing well.
“The province has been hurt so hard by storms this year,” said Boulton. “I know a lot of people who are spending their time this year donating to relief that way. I think the priorities have shifted to helping out our fellow neighbours.”
Bradford said on the website this was the first event he’s ever had to cancel an event in more than 25 years.
“I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you,” he said.
With just four days until the festival was to start only 100 advanced tickets were sold. About 800 tickets and twice as many volunteers were needed to put on the festival.
“I can’t see any benefit in thinking that we’ll have 700 people ‘walk up’ to the gate — we need to sell that amount of tickets in order to cover the expenses for the weekend,” said Bradford in the letter.
There was no mention of refunds for those who have already purchased advance tickets. Early-bird tickets were $50 a person for the entire three-day festival and were available for the month of May. Regular single ticket prices varied depending on the day and the buyer.
In the same letter, Bradford said the committee will regroup this fall to put together a festival for 2014 with a similar lineup. In 2012, an estimated 700 concert goers went to the festival each day.